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Is Type 2 diabetes cured by eating Paleo/Primal diet?

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  • #16
    I don't think that's what he was getting at though. My understanding of diabetes is that it comes with a *permanent* loss of certain bodily functions (beta cells) and can never be recovered. Not quite the same as the examples you give where for the most part, the body will go back to its healthy, fully functioning state after the respective cures, sans cures.

    So unless a paleo/primal lifestyle can actually restore beta cell function (and maybe it can, I dunno), I don't see how the examples are analogous.

    Now, I think the paleo/primal lifestyle is also *preventative* in addition to palliative, which is an important point. Prevention is generally better than trying to treat it after the fact.
    Last edited by Dracil; 04-16-2012, 01:38 PM.

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    • #17
      I have to agree here, since I began this change I have had far more level BS levels than before, no spikes and the only down side is adjusting the needed carbs to stay out of the low range.

      Originally posted by Sol y Sombra View Post
      Diabetes can be managed very successfully on a primal/paleo/low-carb/LCHF diet -so much so that many achieve and maintain completely normal blood sugar values. But if they go back to eating a high-carb diet (and carbs are the main enemy in their case, there's no doubt about that), they would go back to high blood sugars and diabetes...

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      • #18
        Type 2 diabetes can often be 'managed' by diet alone--i.e., without Rx, but that depends on the level of damage to the body. There are diabetics who eat 'perfectly' but must remain on meds.

        Dr. Richard Bernstein is the expert on this, and his work should be read by every diabetic.

        I'm not diabetic, but all my siblings are, and I have been eating low carb (c. 20g) for years, eating primally for about 2 years. My endo believes that my WOE is what's keeping me from developing diabetes--since my blood sugar, while always in the normal range, runs high for someone who eats no sugar or starch. I wasn't sure I believed him, but last night there was a feature on the local news about how 'pre-diabetics' are being counseled about diet to avoid developing the disease--and it's working for those who are compliant.

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        • #19
          I don't think cured is the appropriate word, maybe sent in to remission is better? Honestly, I don't even look at diabetes as a disease unless you fry your beta cells, and at that point you are insulin dependent. Up until that point it is merely a metabolic state that you can go in to and come out of depending on what you eat/do. Primal is the way to go to get out of this state, I get clients who drop their fasting blood glucose by 40 points in 6-8 weeks, that's more than enough for your average diabetic to be in the healthy range.

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          • #20
            I think it's a VERY important distinction that's being made between curing and managing type II diabetes. Especially when the media (think Biggest Loser) constantly has DOCTORS tell the patients / contestants that they've cured their diabetes -- it's a rather dishonest word to use in that context.

            I'm not a Biggest Loser fan but I know that North America looks to that show to see what they need to do to get healthy (even if it's completely unsustainable and, IMHO, damaging to the body. Same goes for Dr. Oz but I don't mean to change the subject!!
            Living the primal lifestyle and loving it! On a constant quest of optimal health and living life to the fullest :-).

            You can have excuses or results -- not both.

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            • #21
              With reference to Dave's post, I'm one of those who lowered their fasting BG by ~40 ng/mL within 3 months of going strictly paleo. Before that, I had been 80/20 primal, but had used my 20% for really bad stuff, like bagels, crackers, etc. After eliminating all of the grains, sugar & alcohol for ~3 months (and getting strict about fasting -- 1-2 24-hr fasts per week, no eating after 7 pm, and having a ~5-hr eating window on most days), I found that my morning fasting BG levels had gone from the ~110-125 range, down to the mid-60s/low 70s!

              As for using the term "cure": I agree with those who say that the SAD causes T2 diabetes, so even if a paleo diet does cure diabetes, you still can't just return to eating crap and expect to remain healthy. From my experience: before I went on that 3-month "healing binge", even if I ate low-carb paleo for dinner on the previous night, and ate that meal no later than 6 or 7 pm, my morning-fasting BG levels the next morning would *still* be in the 110-125 ng/mL range (which is prediabetic/borderline-diabetic). However, post-healing, even if I did occasionally indulge in some alcohol and/or dessert with my dinner (and, admittedly, had a quite high-carb meal with rice on a couple of occasions), the following morning my fasting BG would still be in the 60s or 70s. That's what *I* would call a cure.
              Last edited by healthseekerKate; 04-16-2012, 03:08 PM.

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              • #22
                Thanks for all the replies. I will forward this link to my DIL and see what she says about it. I am not diabetic but one of her family members is. DIL seems to strongly believe in drug therapy (it is her job after all) and I just want to show her how much diet can make a difference.

                My DH and I have been eating primal for almost 12 months now and don't think we will ever change that. It really is such a healthy way to live.
                Original Goal: To lose weight. Achieved in March 2010
                Long Term Goals: To continue using Primal guidlines to improve fitness and health. To share the Primal message.

                The key to successful aging is to pay as little attention to it as possible - Judith Regan

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Dracil View Post
                  I don't think that's what he was getting at though. My understanding of diabetes is that it comes with a *permanent* loss of certain bodily functions (beta cells) and can never be recovered. Not quite the same as the examples you give where for the most part, the body will go back to its healthy, fully functioning state after the respective cures, sans cures.
                  You're thinking of Type I diabetes, which involves an (as far as we know) irreversible death of pancreatic beta cells via an autoimmune reaction. The OP is asking about Type II diabetes, which is defined by a relative insulin deficiency caused by insulin resistance. In other words, your pancreas are still producing plenty of insulin for a "normal" person -- but due to insulin resistance, that isn't enough to maintain control of your blood glucose.

                  My point stands. That particular comment sounds profound -- but in reality, it fails to draw an interesting or useful distinction. And it makes a dangerously incorrect generalization in the statement "The idea that starch or even gluten are per se NADS is wrong."

                  He's equating starch with gluten? And gluten isn't a NAD? He's handwaving away the known effects of gliadin peptides on intestinal permeability on everyone -- not just the celiac or intolerant? (Not to mention all the other anti-nutritional components.) Really?

                  Just for starters:
                  Physiol Rev January 2011 vol. 91 no. 1 151-175
                  Zonulin and Its Regulation of Intestinal Barrier Function: The Biological Door to Inflammation, Autoimmunity, and Cancer
                  Alessio Fasano
                  Zonulin and Its Regulation of Intestinal Barrier Function: The Biological Door to Inflammation, Autoimmunity, and Cancer

                  Originally posted by Dracil View Post
                  Now, I think the paleo/primal lifestyle is also *preventative* in addition to palliative, which is an important point. Prevention is generally better than trying to treat it after the fact.
                  Absolutely true, and I agree 100%.

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                  • #24
                    I know this is an old thread but I have an urgent question... I've been trying to get my dad to try primal for a few months, and though he's interested, he's not very committed and eats quite a bit of sugar. I'm starting to worry he might be diabetic or prediabetic because he's mentioned feeling decreased circulation in his feet and keeps getting blisters (I can't decide whether that's the result of him walking all day in old tattered shoes or a symptom of diabetes). If it is diabetes, i would love for him to get it somewhat under control by going fully primal, and I know he'll commit if I communicate how badly he needs to. Is there a huge risk in trying to attack this using low carb primal (50-60g carbs per day) without seeing an md? I'm worried an md might try to stick him on insulin right away

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                    • #25
                      My dad has successfully reversed his type 2 diabetes with a low carb Paleo type diet.

                      I would, however, say your sister is right in saying there's no cure for diabetes.
                      We were actually talking about this the other day and he was saying that he wasn't really sure if he should think of himself still having diabetes or not. I recommended thinking of it as being "in remission" or "asymptomatic"
                      Yes, you could get to where all tests would show you as being negative for diabetes, so you could sort of say you're 'cured' but, at the same time, if you went back to an unhealthy way of eating...you wouldn't remain cured.

                      PrimalStudent (sorry I didn't see that you bumped it this post!): I don't think there's a risk of him trying Primal, but if he's having symptoms like that he should still see a doctor. I would not worry about the doctor pushing him to take insulin right away, because insulin is usually not the first line treatment for type 2 diabetes since most type 2 diabetics do have pancreatic function. The first line drug for type 2 diabetes is almost always Metformin. I actually take that for PCOS, and other than stomach upset, it's pretty safe. People remain on it for years, and there's even new research that it can help prevent, or even treat, cancer. But anyway, even if he does get put on medication or even insulin that doesn't necessarily mean he'll have to stay on it forever if he commits to Primal and has success with it. My dad was on a couple diabetes drugs and a high dose of insulin, he's now off all of that.
                      Last edited by s-piper; 03-15-2013, 11:56 PM.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by s-piper View Post
                        My dad has successfully reversed his type 2 diabetes with a low carb Paleo type diet.

                        I would, however, say your sister is right in saying there's no cure for diabetes.
                        We were actually talking about this the other day and he was saying that he wasn't really sure if he should think of himself still having diabetes or not. I recommended thinking of it as being "in remission" or "asymptomatic"
                        Yes, you could get to where all tests would show you as being negative for diabetes, so you could sort of say you're 'cured' but, at the same time, if you went back to an unhealthy way of eating...you wouldn't remain cured.

                        PrimalStudent (sorry I didn't see that you bumped it this post!): I don't think there's a risk of him trying Primal, but if he's having symptoms like that he should still see a doctor. I would not worry about the doctor pushing him to take insulin right away, because insulin is usually not the first line treatment for type 2 diabetes since most type 2 diabetics do have pancreatic function. The first line drug for type 2 diabetes is almost always Metformin. I actually take that for PCOS, and other than stomach upset, it's pretty safe. People remain on it for years, and there's even new research that it can help prevent, or even treat, cancer. But anyway, even if he does get put on medication or even insulin that doesn't necessarily mean he'll have to stay on it forever if he commits to Primal and has success with it. My dad was on a couple diabetes drugs and a high dose of insulin, he's now off all of that.
                        Thanks for the feedback. In your experience (I'm completely unfamiliar with diabetes) if peeling feet/recent blisters are his only apparent symptom (sorry that description is a little gross) does it sound like the disease? He's not particularly thirsty, not using the bathroom more than usual, no weight loss or appetite change. I'm trying not to worry because it might very well be his over-walking in poor shoes

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